Sunday, December 15, 2013

First Semester Wrap-Up

I'll keep this short.

But longer than a silly ol' FB status.

First off, congrats to all of my friends who have just graduated yesterday! Y'all are awesome folks and I can't wait to stalk your FB profiles to see where you end up next! ;)

Now, to turn the attention back onto me.

I was "done" with my first semester of graduate school last week after I turned in my last paper.

But todayyyy, we're officially done because we got our grades back!

Now, to say I did well, is one thing, but to say I kicked ASS is definitely more accurate.

This hasn't happened to me since my first semester of 6th grade.

*In sing-song*
I Got Three Aaaa's!
That makes a 4.000!

Take that lollipop and suck on it!

Sorry. Is that too much? My bad. Just a tad excited over here.
Actually I'm not sorry!

I'm happy to know that I am in the right profession and learning about exactly what I want to learn about.
Now, to relax for two weeks before I think about school again.

Peace out folks!

<3 Tawny

Friday, November 22, 2013

"The Movie Just Wasn't As Good As The Book"

No sh!t, Sherlock!!

I'm Annoyed:
One of my biggest pet peeves is the title of this post, or some rendition of it.

"The movie just didn't give the book justice."

"I think the movie was great, but it left some things out from the book. It's a little upsetting."

You know what? Shuuuuut uuuuuppp!

I've Been Waiting for this Moment:
I have been wanting to post this for quite some time now. But I wanted to wait for the perfect time. And with the new Hunger Games movies out now, I feel this is it.

In the history of time, have you EVER heard someone say, "Wow! That movie/tv show/webisode was WAY better than the book. Ugh! The book is terrible in comparison!"



Just... No.

It doesn't happen.

You know why?

You can put more detail into a 600 page book than you can a 2 hour movie. When reading a book, you get into the characters' heads. You feel for them. You grow with them. You have more time to process their story. You can visualize the scenery, imagine the smells, you have so much more autonomy to create the story as you see it in your mind. You can take the 3 chapter walk through the woods and walk through the plot development.

If you wanted a movie to portray your book page by page, then it would end up being and 8 hour movie. Can you sit through that? I know I sure as heck can't!

Do you really expect to enter the movie theatre being blown away by the verbatim script from the book? Do you really expect that the director isn't going to try to make it Blockbuster worthy? They're trying to win awards, not copy someone else's work line by line!

Do you really want to hear intrapersonal dialogue of the main character?
"I saw the twig lying in the middle of my doorstep, and I knew at that moment someone had come to my door. But no one was around. So I instead went back into my house and made a sandwich." 
I don't know about you, but If I'm watching a movie, I'd much rather see Character open the door, look around, and shrug her shoulders as she walked away. It's a lot less annoying and a little less time.

This is why, I just don't read the books first. Especially if I know they'll be a movie. But by then, I've been annoyed that it's become more of a fad than anything and I don't want to read it anyway. But I know that's not the case for you, because you little to be fashionable. But that's another post (maybe).

You know you'll be disappointed in the movie, so why not wait for it to come out, be blown away, then read the book, and gain an uber amount of respect for it. This way, you don't get let down by other and you can appreciate both as separate entities, instead of getting your hopes up and becoming crushed later.

Doesn't that make So much more sense?!

It does to me.

Thanks for reading again y'all!
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Hate is such a strong word. Such a terrible word. It's a scary feeling. An all-consuming emotion.

It starts with a tiny flame brought to life by a bad idea, and it festers, it burns, it snuffs all of the oxygen from your spirit. It causes you to tremble with rage with a flicker of thought, or sight. For some, it inflicts an uncontrollable need to sob the pain away. It hurts. For some, it causes illness. For many, it's an overbearing desire to scream, yell, punch, hit, kick, pull, and push. This flame, this fire, that has taken over your mind and body, goes by the name of hate.

Yet so many people carry hate in their lives.

Whether it's the fact that you hate a musical artist, a vegetable, a "type" of individual, or even yourself, it's a horrible thing to hold in your heart.

What Exactly Is Hate:
 According to, the first definition for hate is, "to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest"

Synonyms listed are: Loathe, Execrate, Despise, Abhor, Detest; Abominate.

Do we really want to feel this way?

Is this feeling necessary?

On A Personal Note:
I know I say that I hate a certain number of things, but it fills me with guilt as soon as the word exits my mouth. I try my hardest not to use that word, but sometimes it's difficult, because it gets thrown around so often. Like the word "Love," it's difficult to define it, to know when it's true, or if it's just a heat-of-the-moment situation. For the most part, I'll use words such as despise, or I may really not like something, but do I really hate anything? Do I really hate anyone? I don't know if I could.

I mean, the slightest whiff of pickles will make me want to spew the past three days of food all over the place, but I don't hate pickles. I've never even eaten one I don't think. I just can't stand the smell!

I'm terrified of spiders and creepy-crawly bugs. I don't hate them, on the contrary, I find them fascinating! Every once in a while, I'll look one up on the computer and when I can't take it anymore, because I've just subjected myself to terror, I'll stop. When I see one in real life, I become paralyzed temporarily and my heart will race. But I don't hate them. I've just had a Lot of bad experiences with them. (Maybe another post.)

There's just too much love and appreciation for this world in my heart that I have no room for hate. It doesn't really exist. It's just a word that I accidentally toss around on occasion.

What About You:
Tell me, why do hate whatever/whomever it is that you do so much? What's the reason? Is it sufficient? Is it reasonable? Is it necessary to spend you time hating it when you could utilize that energy to love someone/something more?

In my opinion, it takes more effort to hate a brand of chips, than it does to love three human beings. So why not make room in your heart for that? I bet you'd feel a lot happier with life, work, friends, and whatever have you if that were the case.

Take some time to think about it.

Is hate what you're really about?
Is that what you want to be known for?
Is that how you want others to see you?

Thank you for reading,
<3 Tawny

Monday, November 18, 2013

StrengthsQuest and Personal Growth

First off, I know not all of my readers are well-versed in the world of StrengthsQuest. So I will briefly explain it.

What is StrengthsQuest:
So basically, you take this really in-depth test that's about 160-175 questions long. It takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. It asks questions such as, "I would much rather take charge in a situation than sit back and observe." Then it calculates your answers to some fancy unknown algorithm. and out of 34 different possible strengths, it tells you your top 5.

It was created because many professionals and career fields are often driven by the thought of needing to improve their weaknesses to remain competitive. According to researchers, this notion goes against the reality of what we're able to do. The fact is, our weaknesses are just that. They will always remain that way, and that's okay, we're human! Sure, we can work to improve, but they will remain inferior to our stengths.

What the test does is highlight those strengths and provide some tools for us to highlight those Strengths in our everyday life. Whether it be school, work, families, etc, we can be better people and more productive in our lives when we know what we can do well. It's an amazing tool and is slowly becoming the norm in colleges and universities alike.

My Strengths:
I originally took a StrengthsFinder test for RA training needs in the summer of 2010. Back then, my results were:
1.) Consistency
2.) Positivity
3.) Harmony
4.) Developer
5.) Communication

(I won't go into depth with these because they're old. But I just wanted to show for comparative purposes.)

For my new job, we were required to inform our supervisor(s) of our strengths. I didn't think my old strengths reflected my personality today, so I decided to take it - three years later, and this is what I got:
1.) Connectedness
2.) Maximizer
3.) Communication
4.) Developer
5.) Individualization

When I saw the new results, I was surprised initially. But after a few moments of reflection, it made a lot of sense. With just eight words, I saw a flash of the past three years and how I've grown as a person.

What Does It Mean:
First off, there are lengthy, in-depth definitions that I could provide, but then you would be reading forever. So I will say what I think/feel about each one. I've also provided the link if you want more information on what all 34 Strengths are/mean.

Connectedness: It means I'm a believer. I believe that everyone and everything in our world is intertwined together in some sort of fashion. I believe that everything has a purpose and everything happens for a reason, great or small. I take this as a very philosophical-based concept, and that's how I base my entire life. So, it makes sense for it to be my number one.

Maximizer: This one is my favorite. When I first read that this was in my top 5, I was upset. I thought, "Oh great, I've just been labeled as a perfectionist..." No one wants to be labeled as that. But after these past few months of me taking the time to appropriately reflect on what it means, I LOVE IT! This terms says that I make things better. I find a process, product, thought, or idea, and improve it. I seek out the strengths in individuals and help them highlight their own abilities. How great is that?!

Communication: This one has been in my top five both times, which means it holds a lot of strength for me. Also, seeing that it's gone up in the list means saying that I value communication in real life actually holds true. "Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them,
to make them exciting and vivid." It's so true.

Developer: I think this one is perfect and goes hand in hand with Maximizer. This is also something that has been of constant value of mine through the years. Basically, it says I love bringing the best out of people and working to develop them as an individual. (I think this also means I'm in the right profession.) Which brings me to my next and final Strength.

Individualization: I hate labeling people and can see unique qualities in each and every person. It also says I'm a great gift giver (even though I find it to be one of the most stressful things for me). I love that I have this Strength, because I really think it ties all of my Strengths together. I love people, and even though I often say that I can't stand them, I don't. I truly love people, and I think there's beauty in everyone - some are just more difficult to find than others.

Why Share All of This:
Long story short? Comparing my current Strengths with ones from three years ago, I can see in an instant the amount of growth that has occurred in me as a person. I can see my motivation, my drive, how I want to develop myself even further in the next couple of years while I'm still in graduate school. When I become a true professional in the field. I use my Strengths everyday at work, in my personal life, and I've seen them come to fruition throughout my class work this semester.

My Challenge to You:
Whether you've taken the test or not, take some time to evaluate your Strengths. Do you know what you're good at? Do you take advantage of them?

If you're a professional, did you take the test, think about them until the day after, and let them gather dust in the back of your mind? Or do you take the time to implement your Strengths in your everyday work? If you're a strategic thinker, and you're sitting in a meeting not saying anything, unhappy, maybe you should utilize that amazing quality within yourself and contribute! Ask questions! I promise you'll be a lot happier. A lot more satisfied. You'll feel useful, valuable, important.

You are those things. You just need to feel it yourself. Everyone else already does. Utilize your strengths. Stop focusing on the 'I can't's,' and more so on the 'I can's!"

I dare you.

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Is Training Truly Effective?

This post will be a little less personal than usual, but still something I want to talk about.

I have a bachelor's degree in Human Resources -- hiring, firing, recruitment, training, payroll, insurance, etc.

My current job works solely with recruitment and training. I mean, it's in my job title. Honestly, those were two of my favorite things to learn about in my undergrad classes, so this job is perfect for me.

But I was having coffee this morning with a colleague and we were talking about training. At Tech, each residence hall complex has, to an extent, the autonomy to decide how things are run. When we go through training, we learn the overarching goals, policies, and general key points. Which is great, in theory... but is it enough in actuality?

"Training provides you a swimsuit, but it doesn't teach you how to swim.":
As soon as he said this, I thought, I need to talk about this.

It's so true, in many aspects. For my first professional staff training, it lasted 3 weeks. But not being an in-hall staff member, I felt that the training was geared towards those folks in particular. Whenever the question was asked, "What about those who aren't in-hall?" the answer was, "I'm not sure." I've simply found that most of what I learned just doesn't apply to me. Next semester, I begin on-call duties. I'm never in the residence halls. I don't know how I'm going to make it out alive! I don't remember where everything is. I don't remember all of the procedures. I'm just praying to God that the on-call binder is easy to maneuver, because that thing will not be leaving my side.

But what about those folks swimming in their halls on an everyday basis? Each hall is different. Each hall runs their desk differently, each hall holds Complex Council differently, and each hall Looks different! Yes, there are policies that everyone has to follow and deadline that reign over the entire department, but as for everyday procedures, No one does it the same way. They've got their swimsuits, but like babies, they're thrown into the pool with the expectation of learning to swim in an instant. I'm not saying the parents are careless or not watching, but there's just that underlying expectation of their children.

As for student staff, for Spring training, we're planning on fitting everything into ONE day. One day. I'm curious to see how well this works out for everyone. But I have to say, I'm not sure I like it. Fall training lasted one week. ONE. WEEK. At my undergrad, our training lasted 2.5 weeks. Yes, we had to be back super early for school, but I felt prepared going into my job. I don't know if one week is feasible for students to learn the intricacies of such a demanding position.

Feeling Empowered:
Then I hear about a lack of motivation, time management, commitment, adherence to policies, and respect for their job. I'm not saying this doesn't happen at every institution with some folks, or that it's Everyone here, but I can't help but wonder. Are we being effective in preparing our students for the jobs we expect them to do? Is there more we can do? What can I do in my position to improve our processes? Don't worry, I am working on it. I keep mental tabs on what I hear from in-hall staffs, from students, from central staff, I relate them to my experiences, and trust me, I fight for what I think is right. I'm hoping to help improve training.

I want to make sure we all know how to swim before being thrown into the deep end of the pool. But I know I can't do it on my own. And that's where the Maximizer in me starts to feel defeated.

Am I overreacting? Maybe I just don't have the full story. Maybe this is just how things are here. Doesn't mean I won't try though. To quote one of my mentors from undergrad, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it... but that doesn't mean an upgrade isn't worth it."

Thanks for reading y'all,
<3 Tawny

p.s. Don't be afraid to leave a comment for me below or subscribe to my posts via email over on the right-hand side of the page.

Your supported is appreciated more than you know! :D

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Pressure to Eat Healthy

I started writing this post last night, soo as to make I didn't forget to express myself today. And, so while I'm at work waiting for my video file to finish processing, I shall finish it!

Backwards List of Food Intake As of Sunday:
As I am writing this sentence, it is 10:56pm. And I just ate a peppermint patty.

For dinner, I had a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

For lunch, a quesadilla.

No breakfast.

Background Info:
I just, don't like eating 'healthy'. I eat what I want, where I want, when I want. I will eat in my bed, I will eat past 10pm, I will drink my milk, and I love fried foods. I'm from Wisconsin. At our state fair, we have fried butter... among other things.

In our professional development sessions, we learn how to take better care of ourselves. In one especially we got talked to by a Registered Dietitian. She told us about all of the foods we could eat, shouldn't eat, and definitely weren't allowed to eat. It was scary, it was depressing, it was demotivating. My first meal after though, I was determined to eat something healthy. It didn't work out too well. It was unknowingly spicy, and I had no milk to wash it down, because milk is naughty. After that, I. Was. Done. Forget about it.

Nothing ever works. I even saw that Food documentary, the really gross one that turns die-hard carnivores into vegans? The only thing I thought about during that film was, "Man, I could go for some fried chicken right about now." Does that make me heartless?

Why I Refuse:
It's not just because it's hard, or it doesn't taste good, or it's too expensive.. It's because of the pressure! If I choose to eat healthy, then it's a consistent effort to be conscious of my food choices! But if I manage to succeed at it, and then slip as soon as I crave a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with Sauteed Mushrooms, I become a failure. Then the guilt comes.

I gave in to temptation. Now I have to start all over. What will society think of me? Am I being judged? Would someone shun me for my poor food choices? I know it's weird to think this, but it happens!

Also, I'm lazy. I will come right out and say it. I. Am. Lazy. I hate working out. And I'm not athletically coordinated, so it's not like I have a creative outlet for my energy. My idea of a workout is walking up the stairs to class every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. (Those stairs will even knock the wind out of in-shape folks!) I don't even own a pair of tennis shoes. I don't want to spend $60 on a pair of shoes! Also, what happens when I Do go to the gym? That place is one giant room of intimidation. No way. I'm good where I'm at.

There's just too much pressure. But these not the only reason why I refuse.

Body Image:
I used to be terribly self-conscious of every aspect of my body. But I can tell you about all that later. That's not what this post is about. At this point in my life, I love my body. I've got great curves. I look and feel like a woman. I may be short, I have a bum that is next to impossible to fit a pair of jeans over, and I may only be able to shop at a few select stores shirts made big enough for my boobs, but small enough for my waist... but that's fun for me!

I wouldn't trade my body for anyone else's.

So why should I have to eat and act healthy for society? Why should I have to worry about eating brown rice versus white rice? Why should I not have both of those donuts? And why in the HELL, would I ever give up bread?! I have no allergies, I don't get headaches, my metabolism is great, I'm rarely sick, and I'm going to take advantage of my blessings for as long as I have them!

I'm totally and completely healthy!

To me, telling me to worry about what I put in my body and that I should be more active only worsens my body image. To me, making my feel guilty about eating the peppermint patty before bed, makes me feel unnecessarily guilty. To me, this is just another fad that I'm supposed to buy into! Well, let me tell you, I can't afford to make this purchase at this point in my life.

Courtesy of the "Being Liberal" FaceBook page.

Leave me alone.

Also, I'm ready for lunch number two. Or pre-dinner. Whichever you prefer. Either way, I'm digging in to some leftover Panda Express as soon as I publish this.

Don't tell me what to do!! >_<

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Sunday, November 10, 2013

True Love's Kiss

Everyone know that I Love fairytales, stories about princesses, and terribly romantic love stories. What can I say, I'm a hopeless romantic and secretly also a princess. Okay, well, I'm not, but I want to be one.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed about falling in love with some wonderful boy who would sweep my off of my feet.

Since I was 12, I've thought about what I would name my future children. Yes, I do have some up my sleeve, but I shall not tell! It'll ruin the surprise... if it ever happens.

Since about high school or so, I lost track on the timeline, I've been "planning" my future wedding. Now, I'm not one of those crazy girls who's Pinterest is loaded up with 18 boards on wedding ideas alone. No. I would do everyone a favor and slap myself for you. *shiver* But I have thought about general ideas that would be interesting to have if the day ever came for me. I do have a Pinterest bored, it's called Someday, but it's not filled entirely with obsessive wedding details. Just a few, and most of it has nothing to do with even that!

Why Am I Telling You This:
Today, I watched 27 Dresses. A story about a girl who's been waiting for her day since she was 8 years old. Then, she watches the love of her life almost marry her little sister, and she goes crazy. All the while, there's a guy who she had no interest in whatsoever, and at the end of the movie, they get married. Ah. True love. Romance. Perfection. Beauty. Makes my heart swell up. With happiness. For a fictional character.

Then, I watched Enchanted. I love this movie. Who doesn't? But here's what always throws me for a loop. Giselle is about to marry Prince Edward. Tragedy strikes and she meets another man. You can tell they fall for each other, yet throughout the entire movie, she can't wait for the man of her dreams to find her so that they can live happily ever after. Then, as soon as he does find her, she really doesn't want him anymore. She want New Dream Man! But he's taken. In fact, he's been taken for about five years(?). Yet at the very end, he throws that relationship away for a chance at happiness with Giselle. And they... they trade partners basically. Is that weird or what? Nope, not for them, because the Prince can be married now and the girl can escape her reality of being broken up by someone who was about to propose to her for a girl who destroyed multiple sets of curtains in his home! I don't get it.

Moral Of The Story:
If true love is this important, magical, powerful force of nature, how can it be found, released, and traded to easily? Falling  in love is difficult to do but but falling out is easy? (Or is it the other way around?) Was it really ever love then? Was it really ever true? Or was it just a means to an end? Maybe I'm pulling from past experiences, but really, if it's such a loose ideal, why do we wrap ourselves up in it?

I'm not saying we should or shouldn't, I'm simply saying we should ask ourselves why? How do we know if what we have is what we really want? What we need? How do we know?

I love thinking and dreaming and hoping for my happily ever after, and who knows, maybe I will get it, maybe I have that now, I won't know until it's happened though. But I realized this a while ago. I can't, and won't focus on the laters. At this stage in my life, yes, I have those future children names picked out, but I'm not clinging to them as my only options. They're just daydreams.

Do I think about my future wedding every once in a while? Yes, I do. I won't lie. I am muy guilty of it. But, I don't spend hours lost in thought about the color scheme, the location, the dresses, the lighting, the music, and whatever else. If and when I do have a wedding someday, it won't be just mine, it'll be his too. So I want to leave the planning up to the two of us and our incomes, cuz that shtuff is expensive as heck. Remember ladies, it's not Your wedding... you wouldn't have one if he wasn't there.

Just some thoughts I wanted to ponder with y'all.

Now, excuse me while I swoon over more love stories and drama in Once Upon A Time. ;)

Thanks again for reading,
<3 Tawny

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Self-Inspiration - Don't Ask How

I was hanging out at Barnes and Noble, not always the best idea for me, and I almost got out of the store without splurging on some random book, game, toy, or whatever. But then I got to the checkout area.

Right before it, you know, that area where it has random crafts and interesting items that don't fit in anywhere else in the store? Where Everything is always on some kind of markdown?

Well, you see, there was this sketch book. I bought it. So cute! Plain, tan colored book, says the word "sketch" on top and has 240 pages for me to draw/doodle in. It was $7. I think that's a darn good deal!

As soon as I brought it home with me, and began drawing random lines and swirls and was asked, "What are drawing?" I had no idea. Until I was about 3/4 done with the page. Once I finished, a poem was inspired within my brain. Never had that ever happened before.

Usually, when it comes to poems, something cool will pop up in my brain, and I'll write it down. Then, if I try to make a poem or limerick out of it, it sounds like a four-year old's poem. I can't rhyme, I don't have rhythm, I'm not creative with my diction, I'm just no good!

But, this one, not too shabby. So, I am willing to share, not only my drawing, but also my poem with you. Especially since I have not had recent bloggable inspirations, I figure this will be a good way to get back in the game.

Both the picture and the poem are called, LIFE.

Life, is like a burning fire.
Causing destruction wherever it goes.
Filling your heart and mind with ire.
Yet after it's gone, new life, it grows.
And sometimes through the thick, black smoke,
The most delicate things in life survive,
Tending to be as strong as the great white oak.
Nothing in life strictly defined,
Chaotic as the Devil's mind.
Free to explore, yet imprisoned by space,
It thrashes around, yet stays in place.
Somehow, still full of wonder, and grace.
Sometimes as fragile as a ribbon of lace.
Constant and thriving no matter which stage,
Yet never looking the same as before.
Sometimes it rains and sometimes it pours.
It's shocking, terrifying, full of undying rage.
And even through the never-ending war,
None will ever reach its core.
Life, it will shine with beauty, once more.
Just like a burning fire,
Its passion will always be admired.
There's a lot going on, and there was really no reason for how it came about. I just wanted to break in the book and wanted to create something fun. And somehow I managed to inspire myself, and break through this creative barrier I've been facing lately, and really dig into some thoughts and feelings that have been sitting in the back of my mind gathering dust.

I've shared a piece with you all that I don't share often. It's a different kind of art that I'm not used to putting out on display, but what's the name of this blog again?

Oh yeah, Private Thoughts Gone Public.

I hope you enjoyed this,
And I hope this brings me back to regular blogging. (Darn grad school!)

Please comment if you thought this was at least okay. If not, then I will go back to my regular rants and keep the drawings and written work to myself and close(r) friends.

I appreciate you,

<3 Tawny

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Graduate School Update

I'm about halfway through my first semester as a graduate student in the Higher Education program at Texas Tech University.

I figure it's a good time to do some reflection.

So far, it's been an amazing experience for me. I won't talk about work, or my personal life, because there's just too much for me to talk about. I will say though, that I've met some amazing people in which I can't wait to see where our friendships take us, and I'm seeing some great things happening in the workplace and I love being a part of it.

Having A Cohort:
I remember when I was interviewing with schools at OPE, the word cohort was dropped as if it should have been in my vocab for years. It was not. I didn't understand what that was even through my first on-campus interview. I would just smile, nod, and say, "This sounds great!"

For those of y'all who may be in the position I was in: Basically, a cohort is a group of students that take the same classes together from the beginning of the program, to the end of the program.

I love this, because already, my cohort has begun to build an amazing bond with each other that I don't think would have happened otherwise. We actually want to hang out outside of class. Who does that?! Cohorts. That's who. I'm so excited. (We're planning a get together for this weekend!)

In class, we take turns making fun of each other, and then flip sides to back each other up. Because we're comfortable with each other, and it's great. I love it.

Sucks. But at the same time, it's kind of fun. And maybe it's just because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, but I Always stress out about an assignment thinking that I'm going to do terrible. Then I start panicking that I'm going to fail, get kicked out of the program, and have to move back to Wisconsin. Dear God, please don't make me move back to Wisconsin! Haha!

I freak out, work my big ol' butt off, think it's the best thing ever, turn it in, go back to freaking out about how I could have improved some aspect, stop caring, then get an email with my grade. Freak out again, check it, and it's either full points or close to it. I'm doing quite well! I'm just a worried, nut-ball.

But in all reality, I'm seriously enjoying my classes and the work I'm doing in them. I'm currently doing research in a field in which I know next to nothing about, and finding that there is actually not a lot of research in this area. Even though I'm finding it next to impossible to get what I need for my research, my professor in that class has provided me with nothing short of encouraging words that somehow take away any concerns and restore faith in myself. I have amazing support here and the faculty so far have been nothing but happy.

I can't wait to learn more in these upcoming semesters.

I'm also extremely proud to be a Red Raider.

<3 Tawny

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Just Another Monday

I hear this every week. And it seriously bothers me.

Every other conversation goes something like:
"Hey! How are ya?"
"Eh, you know, it's Monday."

No. I don't know. Explain it to me. Or maybe I can explain it to you.

Mondays are days like any other. I mean, I used to despise Thursdays because, I swear that for the longest time, something terrible happened to Teenager Tawny every Thursday and I ended up associating such negativity with it. But anyway.

What's so bad about Mondays?
I have an idea. Mondays are socially constructed to induce negativity upon your poor brains so that you slosh around work and school feeling bad about your life. It gives you an excuse to be a negative Nancy and have people feel bad for you. Because it's Monday, and everyone else hates it. You've fallen into the lesson and have to hate it yourself.

"Why are you so glum, munchkin?"
"It's Monday."
"Awe, yeah I know. Hang in their pumpkin, the day's half over and it'll be Tuesday before you know it."
"Yeah, I'm trying. Thanks Sue."

No! Slap yourself for me. You're being ridiculous.

Guess what?
Mondays occur... EVERY... WEEK! And they don't just happen to you. They aren't out to get you. Everyone lives through Mondays right along with you. They're marked on every calendar you buy. What do you do? Dread them so much that you completely black the days out before you even bring your calendar home?

"My birthday's on a Monday this year... this is going to suck..."
Why? Because you can't get schwasty-pants that night? Because you have to work the next day? Or just because it's a Monday?

Why are you so upset?! Shouldn't you instead embrace the blessing of seeing another day's light? Shouldn't you be happy that you have the capability of working in general? Shouldn't you just be happy to be alive? Maybe you should actually try to enjoy your weekends more instead of just sitting on the couch all day in sweatpants eating potato chips and watching Breaking Bad marathons on Netflix. It sounds like fun at the time I bet, right? But in all reality, you've wasted a couple of precious days to have fun, work on a hobby, or get all of your errands done for the week. Because when Sunday night rolls around, you realize, "Oh no, I've wasted another weekend." And then you slum around all day Monday wishing for your weekend back and praying that the week goes by quickly in wait for Friday afternoon.

Shouldn't you learn by now? We're intelligent creatures, right? Stop letting a single word get you down. There's no avoiding Mondays. They are Just. Days! Get over it. Get over yourself. Turn the lights on at the pity party and be happy for once.

Break away from the endless cycle of glum. Listen to some Bananarama and play some fun music if that's what helps.

This is life.
<3 Tawny

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Freedom Of Mind

I guess, in case you missed my (one of my) statuses last week on FaceBook, I wrote something that I really think everyone should not only read, but understand and remember.

Many of y'all know, that the way my sister and I have decided to keep in touch while I'm away from home/living across the country, is through letters. On the occasion, if it's pressing or needs to be vocalized immediately, one may text, call, or tweet another. But we've left all our prime mode of communication to snail mail.

1.) Who doesn't love getting mail, that isn't a bill or catalog that no one cares about? That's why we online shop, right? Not out of convenience, but just so we can get some fun mail send to us? Maybe it's just me.

2.) I think it makes hearing from someone all the more special. Taking the time to write a letter is a lot more appreciated than calling someone on the phone while you paint your nails or play a video game.

Recently, our cat at home passed away. He had a very advanced form of Leukemia that was discovered too late and his chances of life were next to nothing. So he had to be put down. I was informed of this via FB message. Not the best way of hearing about something like that, granted, the cat and I were never the best of friends, but my immediate thoughts went to my sister. How was she? I couldn't imagine her feeling any less than devastated and that's what tore my heart in half.

Then I received a letter from her and it was just as I expected. I of course made the mistake of reading the letter, again, in my office (I can't help it, I just get too excited to hear from her.) I had to close my door because I started crying like a little baby. Surprisingly, her being sad wasn't what made me cry, it was the fact that she had taken that negative experience, and found the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wise before her years. That's my sister. I'm so proud of her. She's becoming such a powerful young lady and she's only still in high school. That girl is going to move mountains in the future. I just know it.

But here's what I said to her in which I will say to you all:

"You may not have control over life or death, or anything in between, but you have complete control over yourself: your actions, your reactions; your emotions and your ability to process & cope. Take advantage of it. You have that ability and no one can ever take that away from you."

As humans, it is easy to fall into the negatives in our lives. It's always easier to say, "Woe is me," than it is to say, "My life is amazing and it's only going to get better." It's hard to say the latter because we're only living our own lives. One day, we may have everything fall in place for us. The next, someone will overcook our eggs at breakfast and it will ruin our appetite for the rest of the day. Then it becomes a downward spiral from there. "Oh, woe is me. First my eggs were burnt, then I got stopped at every red light on my way to work, then my computer had to be restarted 3 times this morning before I could get any work done, then I got a bill in the mail from my last dentist appointment. Today sucks." 

To you, this may seem like a horrible day. "For some, your floor may be their ceiling." I can't remember where I saw this quote or who said it, but it's true. Someone else will always have it worse for you. If your eggs were burnt this morning, well, at least they were under-cooked and gave you food poisoning. You got a dentist bill this morning? At least you have access to semi-affordable dental care.

And I know these are small and trivial examples of something much much bigger, but I'm only hoping to get this small point across to everyone.

Look on the bright side. It could be a lot worse. And, if it is a lot worse, what can you do to make it better. Maybe nothing physically, but you have all ability to think for yourself. You have that ability to look on the bright side. No one is making you feel sad and pitiful. That's all you.

Take if from someone who used to feel like someone else had control over my feelings. That I was consistently wrong for having the feelings that I did. That I was the bad guy for thinking for myself. Take it from someone who overcame that, fought past it, and took her mind back.

Take your mind back. Take it from the person who stole it from you. Take it from society, who implanted false hopes upon you. Take it back. Take that control back. Take whatever negative situation you're in, turn it around, and just be thankful for the amazing life that you've been blessed with. I bet others are thankful for you in turn.

You'd be surprised.

You'd be surprised how you yourself can make you feel. ;)

Try it. I dare you.

<3 Tawny

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Saying Goodbye

I had a random thought one night last week whilst lying in bed.

I was going to simply post a small status on FB, but what I thought would be no more than three sentences max. Turned out to be a bit more. So, here I am, chattin' with y'all via this ol' thing.

(It's also been in draft form for about a week, and I keep forgetting to finish/post the darned thing...)

A Contradiction Posed:
Everyone says that they hate goodbyes. Saying goodbye, is associated with terrible feelings. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they enjoyed goodbyes. I can't blame y'all though. I'm not necessarily fond of them myself. Saying goodbye isn't the most pleasant feeling in the world. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

But here's where my mind pauses for thought. When someone close to us passes away - say a family member or a friend, its tragedy lies not in the death itself (necessarily), but in the idea of not having been able to say goodbye. For the most part, death comes when we least expect it. And when that happens, we suddenly regret our joking words of, "Later Gator!"

We don't like goodbyes, yet we always end up regretting not being able to say so before one leaves our lives. Why do we do this to ourselves? Cause such unnecessary guilt?

We have so many chances to say goodbye. But we never take them. We're greedy. We take these chances for granted. We don't realize that this one goodbye could be our last. We don't think that anything can happen in between, "See you tomorrow," and... well, tomorrow. We pass on the opportunity we're given, and expect that another will come our way when we need it, or when we think it should.

And that's when that rug is pulled from underneath us.

Embrace It:
For the longest time, I made it a point to never say goodbye and instead, always say, "See you later." Then, I think it was my freshman year of high school, or right before, my great aunt passed away. The last time I had seen her, she was telling me that she had to undergo some minor surgery, and I was leaving for vacation with my family soon. Upon leaving her, I said something along the lines of, "Good luck, and see you later!"

Then she was gone. I had made tentative plans with her to see her in the near future. I can't remember what we were planning, but I was looking forward to it. Then those plans became null and void. I handle death pretty well, it's a necessary part of life. It's going to happen to everyone at some point. It's going to happen to me one day. I was sad she was gone, yes, but not in the traditional sense. I was more upset, that I hadn't actually said, "Goodbye."

A Lesson:
From that point on, I decided to make a point of saying goodbye to anyone and everyone whenever leaving their presence. Don't take life for granted, and especially don't think that life will always play out in your favor.

Say goodbye, but go ahead and look forward to see that person again.

It'll make the reunion that much more sweet and the parting that much more bearable.

(Sorry for a depressing post. I tried to make it somewhat uplifting. I hope it worked..?)

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Speed Limits In Texas

Is that what they're called here?

I don't think they actually have a real name.

I think, there are signs, with numbers posted along the road, just to make it look like Texas is following some kind of code of driving...

But, I don't think they're actually called Speed Limits.


Because NO ONE... goes the speed limit... in Texas.

When I'm driving to and from someplace, I know the speed limit is 40, but then I look down at my speedometer to see that I'm actually only going 30. So I think, "Oh shoot, better speed up!" Nope. Because as soon as I look back up, I see that everyone around me is also going 30. And I'll crash into someone if I go the actual speed limit.

When I'm driving to Target. Trust me. I know, that the speed limit is 65mph for most of the way there. I go there often enough. I can tell you every single store in that strip mall. I can tell you the order of the speed limits that occur on the way to Target. (Or Starbucks, because that's over there too.) But this neither the time nor post for that.

Hello, my name is Tawny, and I do NOT have a shopping addiction. 

I don't. I just, like to shop. 

Anyway, twice so far, on the way to Target/Starbucks, I've been driving along, and had to slam on the breaks, because there's a traffic jam, because at least one lane and an exit are blocked off due to an ACCIDENT! Hm. I wonder why. Just kidding. I'm lying. I bet you I can tell you why accidents are frequently occurring on the Marsha Sharp somewhere in between the Quaker and Slide Road exits.

Let me put something into context for ya. I tend to have a bit of a lead foot sometimes. Well, maybe not a lead foot... maybe more so a tin foot. (Tin is further up on the periodic table. It weighs less, but I think it's still heavy.) Anyway, so I'm known to speed a little, sometimes, when I know I can get away with it. Sorry not sorry. 

So, I find myself frequently driving down the Marsha Sharp, and I look around. I'm passing people up. What? I must be speeding. I should slow down. Nope. Chuck Testa. (That's a reference. YouTube it.) I check my handy-dandy speedometer to see how much I must slow down. I'M GOING 50MPH!! What?! NO! Yes. I found myself whipping past folks, going way under the speed limit. That's what people do here!

People in Texas, or maybe it's just Lubbock, but I'm okay with generalizing this one time, Never go the speed limit. It's either 15mph under, or 20mph over...  That's, probably why I've seen 2 accidents, in the same spot, within the last two weeks. Yes, indeed.

Folks. That sign with the number on it, is there for a reason. Go that number!

But it doesn't happen. You know why this is? Because there isn't a proper Driver's Education Road Test! No. I've talked to folks who are born and raised in Texas, (different parts) and all have informed me, that they didn't even need to get behind the wheel with a professional to be graded on their road sign reading skills, blinker usage, or parking techniques.
I'm not kidding.

People wonder why I have driving anxiety. People wonder why it has gotten even worse here. New town. Biggest city I've ever lived in. The GPS doesn't know where anything is. And People Don't Know How To DRIVE!!


I guess, on the plus side... when I don't know where I'm going because everything is new to me, and I'm driving a little slowly, (in my opinion) I don't feel quite as much of an A-hole for taking my time. So thanks, you wonderful Texans. ;)

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Enraged! Just Not Me.

So today I had lunch with a coworker, who has very quickly become a dear friend of mine. We were talking about anger.

Now, there have been a lot of things I've been wanting to post about recently, but I'm drowning in readings already for classes and between that and still trying to have a social life. There's only so much I can do without never sleeping again. Hah. This is also why I haven't been posting my nails lately. Mostly because I have enough time to paint a color, and that's as far as it goes. Smh.


Let me start with my family -- my immediate family, because if I expand it'll get too complicated.

Girls, if you have a Mexican father, or even a Middle Eastern father in many cases, you have experienced fatherly rage. My dad, is one of those dad's who has quite a bit of a temper. And it's not just when it comes to his daughters, but anything else that might upset him. Also, he's very stubborn, and if things don't go his way, then get out of his way.

My mother, I would have to say that she has a short fuse. If you say or do something that will p*** her off, it's like flicking a switch. Bulging eyes, pursed lips, red face. But then you can laugh at her, and 60% of the time she'll laugh with you and she's good to go. But 40% of the time, she's on the angry bus and ain't stoppin' anytime soon.

My sister. Well, she obtained both tempers. A short fuse, stubbornness, extreme temper, and worst of all, she speaks her mind. When people ask me about my sister, I describe her as the typical teenage stereotype. But it's not just because she's a teen. She's held that persona since she was... I don't know... born?

At home, when one person becomes filled with rage, it triggers another. Then the other. Then there's a yelling fest. It's almost as if they compete to see who can be the loudest. As if that's the way to win an argument.

Then there's me... To this day, I have NOO idea how I've managed to become such a tranquil person. I don't get angry, often. It's very difficult to make me angry. If anything, I just get very annoyed. That's relatively easy, although I have a tolerance for that as well. Even my "pet peeves" don't make me angry. (Unless you're blatantly ignorant and/or do it to P me off on purpose..)

But I don't really get angry! And if/when I do, it's mostly because I'm fully frustrated. I don't really yell, or I try not to. My eyes don't budge. I don't throw things. I don't loudly express my thoughts as forcefully as possible. Usually, at that point, I've tried expressing myself calmly, and it hasn't worked, so at this point, I ball my fists. Become silent. And if I'm really upset. I'll just CRY! (what?)

No, that doesn't sound right. But, that's how it is. And as I was explaining this to my friend today, all I could think about, was how?!

How did I manage to avoid the temperamental gene?!

I don't know, but I'd like to think I'm lucky for that.

Just thought I'd let y'all know.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Language Education in the United States

So, as you know, I just started my very first graduate school level classes. One of them, that I was extremely apprehensive about, is a class on the History of Higher Education.

Why would I be apprehensive about a History class? Oh, maybe because History was always a terrible subject for me and I don't think I ever got better than a C? Not acceptable in graduate school. Therefore, commence nervousness.

But, I read the first chapter, and it was really interesting! I can't believe that I thought so fondly of it. Weird. Who am I? Haha.

Anyway, so I was talking with a classmate via FB chat last night, and somehow we managed to get on this subject, and I started a rant session. So I figured I could blog about it. Why not share my opinion with the people of the internets? Kind of why I started blogging in the first place.

The Rant:
I saw in our History book that the first colonial colleges required students to know Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, but never required them to use it outside if the classroom or anything and so I thought to myself, "Wow, we effed up right from the beginning." The continuation of language began dying immediately. Textbooks were written in Latin, yet translation books for English conversion were at the ready for just about everyone. What's the point?

In France, students are required to learn not only their own language but, at least three others. We're barely required to take 2 years in HS, but nothing in college unless you actually planned on studying it. What kind of junk is that? Where did we go wrong?. Wtf? And people wonder why the French think they're better than us? They're more cultured!

In Quebec, children are required to learn French K-12. And only until they go to college, can they choose to attend either an English speaking institution or a French speaking one. Holding on to a culture that is theirs and theirs to keep. I appreciate that much of them, so freakin' much. You don't even understand. I wish we held those same values. But instead, we care more about whether or not marijuana should be legalized or not. Really? Good going, America.

Anyway, my dad never learned Spanish from his parents because they didn't want him to have a hard time in school. And that's precisely what's wrong with education these days. Children learn better from having more lingual influences. A dear friend of mine once stated in conversation, that if she didn't have both French and English in her dialogue growing up, school would have been more difficult for her. If she couldn't remember the word, "Notebook," she at least had the word, "Cahier," to fall back on.

Our country expects everyone to know English - inside and out of the country, yet we don't even know who the leaders of the UN are. Or who's topping the Spanish music charts. Because guess what, they know all about our music. But that's not important to us. Forget about everyone else. (Unless it comes to matters of sending 'aid' abroad. But that's another story and shall be told another time.)
Yet, when we enter the job force, it's more attractive for a person to be fluent in Spanish. Why? Shouldn't universities then be encouraging or requiring a spoken language? And if it's too difficult to learn at an older age, shouldn't we start young? There are studies out there people! Why don't we care?

It's a sad thing to think about. But then again. We can't even speak our own language correctly... -_-

At one point during my rant, my classmate brought up a good point. He stated, "Our schools in general are very restrictive. I think they limit far more than expand. But in my mind, that's why we're do out part to make it better." Wise words. Wise words.

I think I'm going to have a great semester discussing these ideals with classmates, but why not get your opinion on the matter?

Share if you'd like, you're always welcome.

Thanks for reading,
<3 Tawny

Friday, August 30, 2013

I Miss My Best Friend

I wanted to name this post something real crazy and confusing, so that way y'all would start thinking some crazy stuff, but I decided that it would cause some controversy against me.

Sample title names:
"I'm In Love With A..."
"And Then I Fell In Love..."
"My Twin Sister"
Or some other random stuff. I can't exactly remember everything that I thought of, but I decided against all of them and chose to play it safe.

I could go on about Alyssa's and mine happy sappy chick romance, but it's not like that at all. She's just like another sister of mine. And trust me, I miss my real life sister uber much so. But before Alyssa, I never really had the classic, "best friend." She fits. And at Whitewater, there really wasn't a day that we didn't see each other. We've been friends for two years now and we've only ever been a hop, skip, and a jump away from each other.

I have to wait until NOVEMBER to see her y'all. November. That's... *counts on fingers*... almost 5 months of not being able to see her whenever we decide we need to hang out. That's crazy. Absolutely crazy.

So yeah. I miss her. I miss scaring all of our friends with how in-sync we are together. That's the best part of our friendship. I also miss her family. They're fun. (Yes, yes, I miss mine too. But this post isn't about them. It's about Alyssa.)

Two years ago.
Last April

I just realized we didn't even take any pictures together the last time we hung out. What the hell kind of crap is that?

Whatever. November. We shall be reunited and take over the city of Lubbock.


<3 Tawny

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Second Day of Grad School

"Wha'd'ya mean second day?! You didn't post about a first!"

Well tough cookies! Yesterday wasn't special and I don't think I need to be wasting mine or your time by blogging about my syllabus. We both have much more important facets of our lives. Am I right?

So anyway, like I said, yesterday I had my first class of grad school. The class is Student Services in Higher Education. Which, for all of you non-higher ed. folk, it basically means, 'learning about different departments.' Literally, we skimmed through the syllabus, introduced ourselves to the class and the professor, talked about our first assignment, and then peaced out. Nothing special. Whatsoever.

Today, I had Higher Education Seminar. Which, really, it's an intro class to research. Oh great, research, right? Wrong!

Sidenote: At this point, I'm about 85:15% leaning towards taking the thesis route. I don't know yet! I haven't defined it yet! So don't start asking me all of these crazy questions about it. Unless you have important advice that you need to tell me about. That is always welcome. :)

Anyway, I will have to agree, this class seems a bit scary. Very writing intensive. A lot of writing skills that I did not acquire as a business student prior to now, but I've learned that I am not the only one. Less scary. We have to write a research paper in this class. And, pretty much all of the assignments leading up to us turning in said paper, are basically just steps to writing it! Awesome.

Next week, we start by choosing a topic to start researching on. Not even writing yet, but just to begin gathering information. In the class we began talking about the general notions, workings, and ideas that go into a university, just from personal experiences. ALL OF THESE IDEAS ARE JUST FLOATING EVERYWHERE IN MY BRAIN!
- What am I interested in: A lot.
- What could I write about without hating it afterwards: I have no idea.
- Maybe I could write about an interest I may have for my thesis, and then expand from there?
- Is there enough to research on?
- Should I pick something that I don't Want to write a thesis on, and just use this class for practice? Maybe. I think that's the point, but still. So many options!

Nevertheless, we barely brushed the surface of what this class will be about, and I haven't even read anything for it. Which, by the way, I'm not looking forward to reading for Any class. I've always been opposed to forced readings. Which, is kind of how I feel about trending books. But that's another post for another time.

So, why didn't I wait to post about classes until tomorrow? I skipped one day, but talked about both, so not wait another day and talk about all three?
Tomorrow is History. Eff history. I'm least looking forward to this class. *shiver* Good thing it's being taken first semester and I can get it out of the way! But yeah, I probably won't have much to say about tomorrow. Who knows though.

Basically, I just wanted to tell you how excited I am to do some research. (Okay... Who kidnapped the real Tawny and can someone bring her back to Earth? This girl is freakin' me out...)

<3 Tawny

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adverbs Have Feelings Too...

Okay, I have serious plans for real posts soon, but I needed to step back and get real with y'all.

It's time for another grammar lesson. 
I'll admit, I'm not the best at it myself. I use commas way too often and sometimes not enough. Overcompensation. When I write, I use a lot of incomplete sentences. I'm terrible at spelling under pressure. (Why I didn't ever enter into a spelling bee even though I had teachers who always wanted me to.) And I did not obtain an English degree. I didn't even do that well in my college English courses either to be honest.

But! I try my HARDEST to be at least aware of grammar.

Let's make it cool again y'all. 
I know society raises us to answer, "How are ya," with, "I'm good." But, that doesn't mean we have to actually say it! If there's a trend to rebel against, let it be the omission of adverbs. I'll be okay with all of you Beliebers and Twilight fanatics if you took a little more caution in your grammar.

I always try to answer, "How are you," with, "I'm doing quite well, thank you!" (Gotta throw in a little etiquette too. It makes people feel special inside dammit!)

Sometimes, I slip up. Like, if I'm too busy to talk and thinking cap is wedged on too tightly for talking to make way, I'll answer with, "I'm good." And as soon as I'll say it, I will mentally kick myself in the face. And I can't just retract it. I can't just say, "Just kidding! I meant I'm doing well!" Then I'll just sound like an idiot.

It really doesn't bother me when others answer with, "Good." Because well, majority rules, and it's extremely difficult to break that habit. Trust me. I've been workin' on it for quite a while now.

But, I have to tell you what does bother me, why it does, and why you should work on bringing adverbs back into our vocabulary.

What About Our Language Bothers Me.
It's the one language we're required to learn. (Two years of a foreign language my ass. Like that helps anyone.)

Going through school, in every English class, (before English it was Reading, or Language Arts) we had the dreaded grammar sections. Where we would spend a few weeks learning all about grammar? Remember? The only thing that we enjoyed about them was the School House Rock videos? My favorite was always Conjunction Junction. Still is. But this isn't time for that!!

Anyway, I remember also having D.O.U. (Daily Oral Usage) every morning throughout elementary school. I ROCKED D.O.U. I was a freakin' beast! But those actual grammar lessons? Those were a pain in my rear.

And every time it came to learn about adverbs, I hated it even more, because I felt as if the teacher never quite knew how to explain them well enough. Which made me dislike them even more. I felt as if they were worthless.

I vaguely remember one classmate asking how often we actually use adverbs, and the teacher responded with something like, 'I don't know, very rarely." (((AHEM! Adverb.)))

So Why Let It Bother Me?
I feel, like I was cheated. Like we all have been cheated!

Of course, this doesn't really provide much explanation..

School House Rock - Adverbs

But all I remember from in class lessons is, "An adverb describes a verb." Basically, that is true. There's more to it, (cue video) but that is exactly what I am consciously aware of daily.

"Am I going to say this sentence correctly?" "Which form of word do I use?" "Would it be easier if I just said it differently?" "Does this even make sense?"

I don't think many people ever think that way, and I believe that is what bothers me.

The internet is slowly demolishing our language. SAVE IT! SAVE YOURSELVES!! SAVE YOUR CHILDREN!!! Think before you speak, before you type, before you send; before it's too late!

It's The Small Things.
I can't possibly provide an entire lesson. Remember, I'm no expert. I'll admit. I don't know it all. That's impossible. So let's start rather small.

First off, I looked up the word small. It's an adjective. An adjective describes a noun. Normally, one would say, "Let's start small." It sounds correct, right? Technically, no.

How are we starting? We're starting rather small. The word starting is an action verb, and we're trying to describe our action. (Does this make sense?)

Great. Let us move on.

We could add an -ly at the end of small, and say that we'll be starting smally, but that just does not flow correctly off of the tongue. sounds gross. *Side Note: I looked it up. Smally is a word. But I keep getting the red, squiggle-line underneath it. I hate that line.

The word 'rather' is actually an adverb! And I just received confirmation by the video and Google. (Because Google knows all.)

So, rather is basically used as a crutch for small to lean on, as it tries to describe our action. (Does that make sense?)

Our Daily Oral Usage.
A Facebook post I saw today said, "Interview went good..." and, "...I think I did good."

No. *Shakes head vigorously* No.

Here are the questions I think of when it comes to things such as this:

"How did it go? It went well! How did I do? I did well!" 

How does he dance? He dances crazily. 

How does she drive? She drives quickly. 

The difference:
It went good. I did good.

He dances crazy.

She drives quick.

You kind of sound like a caveman. Do you hear it? Say it out loud? Say it with a deep voice.

(What kind of voice? A deep voice.)
((See the difference in question type too?!?!?!))
(((This is an adjective question.)))

Do We Understand A Little Better?
This post went way longer than I intended it to. And I omitted a lot of talking points. Happens every time. I'll let you go for now.

Go to bed. Go to sleep.

You're keeping me up internets!

What are you doing?!

I need sleep toooooo! *Makes pouty face*

Okay. I'm done. 

Thank you for reading!

I hope you enjoyed and/or benefited from today's post in a way!

<3 Tawny

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Confessions of a Timid Extrovert

So, I'm finding out more and more that I'm an extrovert. But not in the way that most are. I need constant human contact. Or at least socialization in some form or another. But I'm shy, so I'm not as overbearing as some tend to be. I'm not as out there. I kind of... lurk in the shadows and wait for someone to come find me. So, others tend to see me as someone who doesn't need to hang with people, or someone who doesn't desire that special attention. But I do. I really do. I need that limelight.

Before I left for Texas, I was super excited for my new job. The thought of not having to actually be responsible for a staff of students, be on call from the get-go, and simply have a 3/4 time work day and be done... With all of the same benefits?! It sounded like bliss. Pure bliss.

When I got here, I was immediately immersed in the culture and taken in by such welcoming arms. Right away, my cohort and I became very close. I adore them all quite dearly. Odd quirks and all. We had our staff retreat, and I felt closer to them than I think I do with most of my friends. Strange.

But I think I started to take it for granted because when pro staff training ended, that's when I realized that the CAs (RAs) were coming back. Then, CA training. Along with CA training, it's past the 8-5 work day. There are staff dinners, in-hall training, staff development, etc, and etc.

I started becoming very apprehensive. Training is my favorite time of year. Why am I so anxious?

It's simple. My cohort, now have jobs past office hours. I don't have a staff. I don't have a group of people to simply have a staff dinner with. I'm not bonding with people anymore. I don't have anyone to look after, to fumble over as I try to teach them things I only just recently learned myself. I don't get to sit in special training sessions and work one on one with students.

After the first day of training, I left my office and went to my apartment. I wanted to text my new friends, "Who wants to grab dinner together," like we did for the past 3 weeks. Everyone already had dinner plans. So I ate by myself. Sometimes, it's not so bad. But I wasn't ready for it. I like eating with others. I like conversing. I like, social interaction. On the plus side, I was able to talk to my sister on the phone. That was wonderful. But she wasn't there. I was by myself, eating homemade(ish) pasta, watching Star Trek. That's not that fun. I felt so lonely. I just wanted to go to sleep and it was only 8pm. (I'm a night owl.)

But then the second day of training, I was able to eat lunch with all of the student and professional staff. One staff temporarily adopted me. I felt so special. So loved. Even though they didn't know me. I felt included. It was nice.

Today was difficult. I spent most of the day, sitting in bed, reading, watching tv, painting my nails, and playing games on my phone. To some people, that sounds like a dang good day, but I wasn't feelin' it. I had nowhere to go, nothing important to do. I looked at the training schedule just to see when someone would be available. After dinner, there was nothing planned! Great! I texted one friend and asked if she wanted to go shopping after. Nope. She had a staff meeting. Darn.

I started to feel alone again. I could have texted others, but rememeber, I'm shy. Especially after being rejected once, I didn't want to face the risk again.

Then I got a text. An invite to the movies! We didn't end up making it in time and got ice cream instead, but an invite! Someone reached out to me. It felt good.

After ice cream, we hung out and watched a movie at my apartment. It was exactly what I needed to feel back on that mental track. I love hosting. It makes me feel well making others feel well aslo. And by hosting get togethers in my apartment, it's fulfilling. For everyone else, it was a way they could unwind, destress, and not worry. I was able to provide that atmosphere for them. And for that, I am grateful.

I feel very happy right now. I'm not stressed about my job, I love it and it's no where near as demanding as the rest of my staff. But to feel like I'm still a part of them even though I don't have to worry about my own personal staff of CAs? That recognition is important to me.

I could not have asked for a better night.

Thank you.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Connecting With Co-Workers: Part 2

Day Two: Comfort Zone
The next day, we went to a different town to visit a couple of pistachio farms/wineries. I bought my very first bottle of wine ever! I felt like such an adult! But, let me tell you. Where I bought my wine, I was I.D.d. Okay. Great. The second place, I got carded just to taste the wine, and they wouldn't take it. Why? Because I have a Vertical WI I.D. New Mexico law. Let me tell you. They lost my business. I was angry. Not because I couldn't taste, I don't like wine that much, but because I got away with it at the first place. 

After we all finished there, we went to visit the White Sands. I had been very apprehensive about going there, because, well, I hate sand. And sledding - which is what we did there. At first, I was uncomfortable, and was ready to be done and leave faster than the time it took to step out of the van. But I sucked it up, I stepped out of my comfort zone, and embraced the beauty that was White Sand. It was wonderful. Then we had dinner and it was great. 

I was so exhausted that night, I just wanted to go to bed. But I took a shower, and it was so horrifying that it woke me right back up. The pressure was so high, I felt like I was being assaulted by the water. So, I painted a co-worker's nails and then joined the staff members in the lounge where they were playing hotseat. Once again, I learned so much more about people and their lives that I stayed awake hours past my normal bedtime just to do so. It was so wonderful. I felt even more connected to my staff.

Day Three
On the last day, I led with an activity called, "Touch Someone Who..." (Real name.) I learned this activity from my supervisor my first year as an RA and it stuck with me ever since. It is a silent affirmation activity where everyone faces outwards in a circle with their eyes closed. A few people at a time are selected to touch someone's back who fulfills the requirement I state. It's a lovely exercise and I'm happy I was able to share it with my peers.

For our closing activity, we learned about authentic leadership and six individuals shared deep parts of themselves and even more emotions poured out. I felt heavy again and just wanted to hug everyone. And cry. But I fought it. I fought it so hard. I was wearing make-up dang it. No raccoon-face for this girl.

Then we each took the time to share one thing we learned, felt, and will take action in after returning to campus. Once again... Emotions Galore! Every time I calmed myself down, someone shared a beautiful thought, or cried themselves, or I just started thinking about all of the things I heard about over my time with them. 

It was almost too much.


But I wouldn't trade the experiences I learned over those past few days for the world.

And for this, I am grateful.

Thank you.

<3 Tawny

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Connecting With Co-Workers: Part 1

I had never been on a staff retreat before. When I was an RA, we "retreated" to the University Center for an afternoon. While it was great fun and beneficial, it was nothing like i had experienced in the past few days.

We went to a site in Sacramento, New Mexico. No, not in California.

Day One:
From the moment we got there, we began teambuilding. We played an energizer called, "Gorilla, Man, Net" that I learned from my undergrad. It's like, "Rock, Paper, Scissors," but more involved. Then we began to talk about our strengths from StrengthsQuest. I will talk more about my specific strengths in another post, but I will say that I learned a lot about the commonalities and differences in each person's stengths. And I've always known that every person is largely unique with underlying similarities, but it made me more aware of the fact.

We then participated in a teambuilder that I will call, "Connections." One person started the activity by stating a fact about herself and then whomever related would connect to her and proceed to recite a fact about himself. Then it continued to progress until the last person connected with the first. We did two rounds of it. The first was was pretty superficial and consisted of deeper and highly personal facts. These ranged from illnesses, to traumatic events, and everything else in between. For it being the first day of training and our first in depth activity, I was... floored. To share and hear others share such personal information was wonderful.

Later that night, we participated in a teambuilder of which I will call, "Short Truths." (I'm sorry I don't know what any of these are called.) Basically, we all sat in a circle and the facilitator would ask a question where everyone had to respond to in a short phrase or single word, without any explanation to their answers. The questions started simple like, "What book are you currently reading?" Increased difficulty to, "What's your biggest fear in life?" And rose to questions such as, "Who or what would give your life up for?"

The exercise was intense. In a group of 30+ people, you would expect to hear a plethora of answers, as it's difficult to sum life up into one word. And, I know everyone is different, everyone has experienced life differntly, and everyone perceives life differently, but to hear all of those responses? It was difficult.

Everyone, including myself, opened up so much, and through their responses, even though the words weren't fully descriptive, it was a lot. Empathy is not a strength of mine, but I could feel the conviction, the emotions, the stories, and the experiences of peoples' lives. Including my own, it became very heavy. I was bearing all the weight of so many questions; so many feelings. It took every ounce of strength in me to not either walk out or simply burst into tears. I also fought with wanting to hug everyone. But I stayed put, and I kept it held together, because I had never felt so connected to so many people, in such a short amount of time, and that made me feel amazing beyond belief.

But after that activity, I was so drained, I decided to unwind all of the emotional build-up with a friend by relaxing away from the rest of the group. And for that, I am grateful.

I shall continue tomorrow
I pre-wrote this post on the ride home from the retreat, and it's a total of 5 pages long. I figured it wasn't actually that long because I was writing in a large font.While typing, I realized it was a bit longer than I thought. So, for this reason, I shall post the rest tomorrow.


<3 Tawny

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Whole New World: Texas

I left for Texas on Sunday, July 7th. So for my last week(end) and a half I tried to see as many friends as I could. I posted my story in my blog for two reasons: because I knew it was worth telling, and I wanted to create a big build up. I also don't want to post my whole life in FB statuses. Not too classy. Oh, and I wanted to tell as many people as I could in person so it wasn't too much of a sudden shock.

So I guess that's four reasons. Whoops, can't count.

But anyway, if you didn't know that I left Wisconsin by now, don't be upset with me, be upset with yourself. I tried to tell you.

Before I continue, I would just like to thank my parents and my grandmother for helping me move all my junk across the country. Thank ya'll again for your help, I really did appreciate it.

My New Apartment:
I took these pictures a few days ago and it has since been cleaned and decorated further, but I didn't feel like taking new pictures so... Sorry not sorry. Take what you can get.

Living Room




Hallway - From bedroom to living room



It's small, but it's just enough for me and my needs, and Iiiiii Like it! :D

Upon moving here, I've been getting to know my staff and hanging out with everyone as much as possible. We're so close already that we broke in Cards Against Humanity with the new grads right away. What a great time that was! I already can not wait for the next game night. :)

Also, that night before CAH, we went out to dinner and then got ice cream. There's a place called The Arrogant Texan, and they make an ice cream with real beer. Not beer flavored, real beer. They also have an Olive Oil ice cream. I didn't try it, but I heard that it tastes like string cheese.

Anyway, beer ice cream. Good. I want more. If you come visit me, we can have some together. :)

Beer ice cream with a sprinkle cone

I started training this week, so far it's been great. It's my favorite time of the year and I just love learning about my campus, my job, and my staff. We all have so much fun together. I could not have been blessed with a better job!

My supervisors are fantastic as well. For our first meeting together we went to Starbucks for coffee. I'm not mad. Haha, I truly feel I'm going to have an amazing experience here for the next couple of years!
Blog Exclusive Uniform Shot! ;)
Talk to ya'll later!
<3 Tawny

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Not Claustrophobic But...

...When it comes to mass hordes of people, I panic on the inside.

I can crawl into the tiniest of spaces and giggle like a little girl. That's fun, as long as I can get back out.

When I'm surrounded by hordes of people, I can't just push my way around them. I can't just crawl into a cupboard and sneak away. I can't just throw a blanket over my face and wait for people to go away.

I become introverted and have to force myself to be extroverted. That's difficult to do.

I didn't like going out to the bars, unless I was going with a group of friends that I was comfortable with. But then I would just follow them everywhere like a little puppy dog.

I never went to any house parties. Nope. Too much for me.

When it comes to concerts, I've been to them, I've enjoyed the bands. I've seen a small share of groups. But it's always uncomfortable for me. Mass hordes of people + booze + smoke + loud music = craziness. Oh yeah, I hate too much bass. It makes me sick. Feeling my organs inside of me vibrating from the bass booming freely through the subs, no. Uh uh.

I wish I enjoyed that kind of stuff. It'd make my life that much easier.

I went to Summerfest once, I've been to Oz Fest, I've been to Crue Fest, I even went to Harbor fest back in the day.

They were fun, but I've never really wanted to go back. It's uncomfortable for me.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, today, I'm stepping out of my comfort zone yet again.

I'm going to Summerfest for the second time in my life. My parents want to go because admission is free from noon to three. I looked up the line-up, AWOLNATION is going to be there tonight. That sold me. I've been obsessed with their music. Yeah, I could've gone to see Imagine Dragons with everyone else, because I'm in love with them too. But, I also hate doing what Everyone else does. So, AWOL it is. And I am Puuuumped.

If you're going to be there tonight, you should hit me up. ;)

Thanks for reading again!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

So, I know there are a lot of unasked questions about the next phase in my life. I'm going to answer as many as I can, if there's anything I miss, please do not hesitate to ask.

Also, Happy Canada Day

Q. So what school are you going to now?
A. Texas Tech University

Q. Where's that?
A. In Lubbock, Texas

Q. Where's that?
A. In the northwest of the state.

Q. That's a big change, you know it's hot there right?
A. Yes. Yes, I do. That's one of the pros I'm excited for.

Q. So, what will your Master's be in?
A. Higher Education.

Q. Oh! So, like, teaching?!
A. No. I'll be working with college students outside of the classroom.

Q. Oh! So, tutoring!?
A. No. Outside of purely academics. Another name for it is Student Affairs. A link to a better explanation than I can give can be found HERE

Q. So what exactly will you be doing down there?
A. It's an assistantship. I will be working for the university, much like what a teacher's assistant would be, except I will be working for Residence Life and Housing. The job title is the Graduate Assistant for Recruitment and Training. Basically, aiding in the recruitment of student and professional staff along with planning training for those individuals. There's also a lot more to it, but those would probably be the biggest things. I don't know yet. I could read you the job description, but that's not very fun.

Q. Are you excited? Nervous?
A. Let's break the emotions down mathematically. Now, there's no algorithm for my methods, just total guesstimation. But I would have to say, I'm 98% excited, 12% relieved, .5% nervous, 10% anxious, and 60% pumped. What do you mean it's not to scale? Well, I said it was mathematical, not mathematically correct. ;-P

Q. How long will you be gone?
A. The program is two years.

Q. Are you going to come back after?
A. That's a long time from now, so I really don't know. It also depends on what positions are open on what campuses.

Q. Aren't you afraid of not knowing anyone or being around strangers?
A. No. I'm moving to a large city, with a large university, working with people, attending classes with a cohort of other people just like me. I've met a ton of people already in my interviews and I make friends quite easily. I'm not moving into an igloo in the middle of nowhere with zero civilization. Even if I didn't know anyone already, I would be okay. That's what the internet is for. ;)

Q. Are you ever going to come back?/Will I ever see you again?
A. If you want to visit me, come on down. I'll be up for a holiday every once in a while, but that's about it. Time will fly. Don't worry. Like I said, I'm not moving to a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. :P We can have Thanksgiving over skype.

Since no one asked me any questions, these are all of the ones I can think about answering for you.


I would be happy to answer any and all burning questions of yours.